Autism and Music: sounds interesting!

**Update 18.10.2021: Thank to all for the beautiful and terrible comments from both Neurodivergent and Neurotypical folk. I have been misunderstood my entire life so it just makes me feel that I will probably be misunderstood my entire life.

For people not diagnosed with Autism, it may seem difficult to understand how someone diagnosed with Autism feels and thinks since most people cannot experience what it’s like to have friends or family members who cannot recognize specific signals or signs that can help guide them through their everyday tasks. However, society must understand what autistic friends and family members go through as this is the only way to help them manage their struggle with Autism.

Specific instruments

A typical example of this struggle is how those who have Autism often take music differently than others. For most neurotypical (i.e., non-autistic) people, it’s often the first thing that comes to mind when describing emotion and mood. However, most autistics are less affected by music because they don’t view things the same way others do. Rather than associating songs with emotions or memories, it’s more likely for an autistic person to associate specific instruments with different types of mood instead of just one kind of mood or emotion. However, this means that songs without the proper instruments cannot invoke the same feelings in autistic people. This is why music therapists need to note which instruments each autistic person responds best when using as a form of treatment.

Sensitive to volume

This also correlates with how autistics are more sensitive to volume than neurotypicals because they process noise differently. Since most neurotypical people enjoy loud noises, they tend to turn up their stereos higher than someone might be capable of handling since they can endure more harsh sounds. In contrast, an autistic person exposed to louder volumes would likely negatively affect their health or wellness even though they can’t comprehend why loud noises bother them so much. Hence, this is why music therapy on autistics must note the volume levels they use to produce the instruments and what types of effects specific volumes have on them during treatment sessions.

Different forms of Autism

In addition to that, there are three main types of Autism – classic Autism, Asperger syndrome, and pervasive developmental disorder – each with its unique signs and symptoms. Since every autistic person has a different way of thinking than a neurotypical person, music therapists need to focus more on individualized treatment based upon each patient rather than basing it off one piece or method since some may not work out properly for those who suffer from different forms of Autism.          

Music therapy

Overall, music therapy can help autistic people better cope with their emotions and can even act as a method of communication. However, music therapists need to note that not all autistics will respond the same way to music that neurotypicals usually do. Because every autistic person has different tastes in instruments and ways of thinking, they need to focus on these details when dealing with patients who have been diagnosed with Autism.


4 responses to “Autism and Music: sounds interesting!”

  1. Tahrey Avatar

    Wait, is that why so many of us who were kids in the 80s and 90s have an inherent love of Chiptune?!
    (a lot of people consider it a format or genre, but I’ve long since labelled it as a kind of instrumentation instead…)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. […] people with SPD are hypersensitive to stimuli while others are hyposensitive—it all depends on how the person’s brain processes sensory […]


  3. Tahrey Avatar

    I hope “all the terrible comments” as of 18th October aren’t anything to do with my 27th September one :-/ (it was a genuine bit of musing from an AA angle)


    1. anonymousgods Avatar

      Nope, you’re in the clear 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: